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Clare’s work focuses largely on simulating atmospheric experiences. Dealing primarily with nature, she attempts to bring the sensations associated with natural outdoor environments into her studio space. Her work concentrates more on the experience of immersing yourself in an environment than the physical environment itself. Achieved in a delicate yet captivating way, she encapsulates every atmospheric quality of a scene by using water-based paints such as inks, dyes, water colours and Brusho crystals.
Her work is more aesthetic than conceptual, but the paintings do not conform to the continuous tendency to paint landscapes realistically. With Clare’s work, it is not possible to depict any physical entities amongst the entrancing hazes of paint. She is more concerned with the idea of expression, to abstractly represent the feelings and ambiances of each environment with a variety of colours.
Her method of painting alone conveys this notion. Clare is interested in a very physical process to fully represent the environments she’s observed. Working primarily on thick watercolour paper, she often submerges the sheets into substantial containers of dye, or works onto them with gestural brush marks. She is engrossed in the fluidity and the natural movement of the thin paint and wants her work to embody this sense of process by revealing where the paint has travelled, creating a narrative from the mere application of paint. She tries not to control the paint, but to harness its energy and experience how it naturally works without intrusion.
This calm process reflects Clare’s personality and her love for the outdoors. From living in the Lake District, she has developed an enthusiasm for nature, which she shares throughout her work, expressing the multitude of colours, weathers and picturesque scenes presented by the lakes. She has always labelled herself as a painter and loves to experiment with the possibilities presented through the medium. Her main artistic inspiration is Turner’s watercolours, especially his unfinished works as the gestural brush strokes present a sense of freedom and looseness. Fascinated with Turner’s distinctive ability to create an overwhelming sense of light from a simple piece of paper, Clare has always tried to adopt this enchanting style.
“The bigger, the better” according to Clare. For the degree show she wants to present pieces that work on a vast scale as they demonstrate more experience and allow the audience to be encompassed in the work. She aspires to transform her space into a specific environment by exhibiting immense panoramic paintings or installation pieces which will allow a sense of being immersed in an atmosphere which she has created.
Paula Sanchez-Roman Teran
Paula’s current body of work has stemmed from her awareness of chance marks that often go unnoticed in her environment, and more specifically in her studio space. Her studio practice involves experimenting and working with concepts of chance marks which she elevates to “highly controlled, almost precious physical forms” to play with the transition from random and chance to precision and order. Paula is interested in the trace as an empty gesture without substance, and she works intricately to document chance marks through drawing and the use of technical processes.
A key moment in Paula’s progression of highlighting these “left-behind reminders of human activity that nobody pays attention to” was when she learnt the notion of ‘additive’ and ‘reductive’ traces. Working in her studio space, the majority of chance marks she was documenting were additive: they consisted of substances such as paint drops accidentally superimposed or added onto the surface of the floor. Using a laser-cutter machine, she is able to emphasise traces by cutting out their voids to exemplify the transition from ignoring the unnoticed to creating seriously controlled and precise images that are brought to the viewer’s attention. Paula pushes the boundaries of what the discipline of drawing might be. At first the constraints of laser-cutting on paper meant that the results were too alike traditional drawing of pen on paper whereas with translucent sheets she found it only left her with the trace of a line itself which is the essence of her work.
Clinging to this idea of a ‘trace’, Paula did not let her new discovery of this technology distract from core artist research that she feels is important to her studio practice, and so she expanded her work to include reductive traces. She explored new environments to search for examples of each trace that confine to specific environments, as to combine both types of trace in her work she felt she needed to adapt her process to allow for reductive traces as well. Carving into Lino sheets enabled her to create reductive traces and print these images onto delicate tracing paper. Paula chooses to first focus on processes, materials and techniques and then allows herself to be inspired by individual artists. She states that over her degree she has become more and more drawn to delicate and transparent materials such as plastic sheets, and accurate processes with the thrill of one incorrect mark potentially ruining the work.
The structure of Paula’s degree has helped her establish herself as an independent practicing artist, and she is excited to have a final “closure to three years of very hard work”.